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CASTLE TOWARD OFFER IN

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Argyll and Bute Council said today (Friday) it is ‘progressing’ an offer to buy Castle Toward.

 

 

An ‘emergency’ closed-door item was added to the agenda of yesterday’s (Thursday) meeting of the council. The authority says the meeting considered a report on Castle Toward and ‘agreed to further explore an offer … that promises considerable benefit for the local area and Argyll and Bute as a whole’.

 

The council says the offer ‘ …brings the potential to create local jobs, develop the property as a visitor attraction for the area, and provide income from the sale for investment in council services’.

 

A council spokesperson said: “In line with the stage in negotiation reached and a confidentiality clause included in the offer by the bidder, details of the offer and bidder remain confidential. “

 

We understand the offer has been made by an asset management company and is for less than the district valuer’s valuation of £1.75m.

 

Argyll and Bute Council walked away from community right-to-buy negotiations over Castle Toward with South Cowal Community Development Company in February. Despite projections of at least 80 jobs being created by a community-run enterprise the council refused to negotiate on price, with council leader Dick Walsh telling the BBC: “£1.75 million is where it’s at.”

 

Instead, the council offered the community group a loan of £1m, which the community group had already said was unaffordable.

 

Over £100,000 of council tax-payers’ cash has been spent on security and maintenance of the property since negotiations with the community were halted.

 

More in next week’s Standard.

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